Doctors not involved in Clinton's care said blood thinners are typically used to dissolve clots, and patients may need to be on them for weeks or months.
"Therapy is given anywhere from three to six months or longer, depending on other underlying circumstances or cause of the blood clot," said Dr. Jack Ansell, chairman of the department of medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "In Secretary Clinton's case, one would suspect that trauma from her fall played a role. Dehydration, as reported in the news, may also have been a factor. In some patients, there is an underlying hereditary increased tendency to form blood clots, but I am unaware whether this is a factor. Although there is always a risk of recurrence, the risk is very small and most individuals who experience this problem do not have recurrences. A full recovery is expected."
Clinton had been on a strenuous travel schedule in her role as Secretary of State. According to Bloomberg News, the State Department calculates that she has traveled 949,706 miles and visited 112 countries over 401 days -- about 2,084 hours, or nearly 87 days spent airborne.
There's more on blood clots at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: Anders Cohen, D.O., chief, neurosurgery and spine surgery, The Brooklyn Hospital Center; Jack Ansell, M.D., chairman, department of medicine, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; CNN; Bloomberg News
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